A workplace outbreak has been reported at Roseburg Forest Products, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

In its weekly report, released on Wednesdays, the state said the company was connected to 5 total coronavirus cases, meeting the state’s threshold for a workplace outbreak.

A workplace outbreak is reported by the state when a business has five or more cases — both confirmed and presumptive — and includes all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts. Even those who test negative for the virus but were once considered presumptive continue to count toward the workplace’s total case number until a 28-day period has passed without a new case.

John Myers, the director of environmental health and safety at Roseburg Forest Products, said an employee at the Riddle plywood plant tested positive for the virus on Sept. 10. Myers said the company quarantined the worker and began working with the Douglas Public Health Network and OHA to perform contact tracing.

“The team member has since recovered, been released by OHA, and returned to work,” Myers said in a prepared statement.

At the company’s engineered wood facility in Riddle, an employee and their spouse tested positive and are currently in quarantine. No other employees from either plant have tested positive as of Wednesday afternoon, Myers said.

“The safety of our team members and our communities is paramount, and (Roseburg Forest Products) will continue to do all we can to mitigate the spread of the virus,” Myers said.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team, in its daily report, said the county did not have any new cases to report, but that a presumptive case had tested positive for the virus. There are now 221 total cases, with 195 positive and 26 presumptive cases. Four people remain in the hospital and 33 are in isolation.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing daily COVID case counts on the rise in our county,” the response team said in a press release. “The most recent cases all point to unwitting and presumably unintentional behavior by these residents attending or hosting social gatherings were COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing, food preparation, hand washing and masks are not being followed. So, again we need to take a moment and revisit how we are socializing and protecting ourselves from the spread of this virus. Stopping the increase of COVID-19 cases in our county is really up to YOU, our residents.”

Since the beginning of Labor Day weekend, county COVID-19 cases have increased nearly 23%, from 180 to 221.

“We continue to identify people with positive test results that have chosen to travel out of Oregon to visit relatives or to take vacations,” the team said. “While traveling, those individuals and families have come in contact with someone with COVID-19 and brought it back to Douglas County. We have expanded our list of states directly related to our cases though travel, they include Alaska, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and Wyoming.”

Statewide, Oregon reported 193 new positive tests, six new deaths and retracted one death as being COVID-19 related.

Each of the six reported deaths all noted underlying health conditions.

The retracted death was that of a 26-year-old Yamhill County man who passed away in his apartment in early July. At that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Matthew Irvin was Oregon’s youngest COVID-19 victim.

A test for the coronavirus, administered when he went for an emergency room visit, returned negative. With neither Yamhill County nor the state medical examiner’s office willing to perform an autopsy, Irvin’s family employed a private pathologist who determined his death was due to a lung issue and blood clots. The CDC examined the man’s lung tissue and found no evidence of COVID-19.

Ian Campbell can be reached at ian@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter

@MrCampbell17.

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Mike

The Roseburg Veteran’s Affairs reported 1 new coronavirus case this afternoon. This increases the Roseburg VA total cases to 28 with 0 deaths.

Oregon’s three VA hospitals have reported 260 total cases and 13 deaths. Nationwide, the VA is reporting 58,760 cases and 3,315 deaths.

https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

Mike

The Roseburg VA reported 1 more case this morning, their 2nd in two days, bringing their total to 29.

Mike

Our Douglas County Commissioners never told residents and workers at Roseburg Forest Products the first confirmed coronavirus case was on September 11 and the fifth case on September 15. If you consider coronavirus test results take 2 – 3 weeks, that means our County Commissioners have known about this workplace outbreak for weeks and failed to inform the public who had to wait until today to be informed by the Oregon Health Authority weekly report (below link).

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-09-23-FINAL.pdf

Mike

The Oregon Health Authority (not the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team) announced today (below link) the Umpqua Valley Nursing Center has an ongoing health care facility outbreak with three staff members or residents confirmed to have coronavirus. The first case occurred 23 days ago. However, the public was never notified by our County Commissioners. We had to wait until the OHA published their report today.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-09-23-FINAL.pdf

Mike

The Oregon Health Authority reported coronavirus cases for each Douglas County zip codes as of September 20 (below link). It appears the OHA report is inaccurate. Douglas County reported a total of 210 cases on September 20. The below zip codes only add up to 195 cases.

97417: 9

97435: 9

97457: 24

97462: 12

97467: 9

97469: 9

97470: 37

97471: 44

97479: 42

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-09-23-FINAL.pdf

Mike

It appears Douglas County’s 4th Coronavirus death that occurred 3 days ago, most likely at Mercy Medical Center, has NOT been reported to the Oregon Health Authority which continues to report Douglas County having 3 coronavirus deaths instead of 4.

Mike

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 0 new coronavirus cases today. Yet, 27 presumptive cases were reduced to 26 when one of the previous presumptive cases tested positive. Don't you wonder why ALL presumptive cases aren't tested? I know that if I had all of the symptoms, I’d want to know whether I for sure had coronavirus.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team has reported 26 coronavirus cases and received 501 test results over the past week. Dividing 26 cases by 501 test results gives a 7-day positive test rate of 5.2% for Douglas County today.

Led by County Commissioner’s recent anti-mask rally at the County Courthouse, Douglas County no longer meets any of the three criteria required for reopening schools in the county.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported a RECORD high 65 new coronavirus cases and Lane County’s 16th death today. The six counties surrounding Douglas County also reported a new RECORD high 342 cases and 4 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 190 new coronavirus cases and 6 deaths today. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon remained at 6.7%

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